Apple files to dismiss iPod lawsuit as plaintiffs drop out | Cult of Mac

Apple files to dismiss iPod lawsuit as plaintiffs drop out


Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple has been fighting an iPod-related class-action lawsuit for nearly a decade now, but just as the trial is heating up in Oakland, the New York Times reports that the lawyers suing Apple have suddenly found themselves down to just one plaintiff.

The $350 million case accuses Apple of stifling competition on iTunes from competing music services by deleting songs off users’ iPods from September 2006 to March 2009. But lawyers in the case have withdrawn one of the named plaintiffs today, after they discovered her iPod wasn’t purchased during the time period in question.

Eddy Cue and Phil Schiller have both testified this week at the trial regarding Apple’s use of DRM.  Evidence from Steve Jobs is also expected to be presented, however, there might not even be a case by the time they get to it.

Lawyers claim Apple designed iTunes to delete songs off iPods from competing services like RealNetwork, but on Friday morning they removed name Melanie Wilson’s name as one plaintiffs, when it was discovered her iPod was bought in 2006. It’s the second plaintiff to be dropped from the case since the trial began, leaving lawyers with just one iPod purchased by Mariana Rosen in 2008, as their sole plaintiff.

However, Apple is trying to get that plaintiff dismissed as well. After checking the iPod’s serial number, Apple claims the iPod in question was actually purchased in July 2009 – four months after the scrubbing of the iPods ended.  And a receipt presented to the court shows Rosen’s husband’s law firm purchased the iPod, not herself.

On Friday morning Apple filed a motion to have the case dismissed altogether. “Ms. Rosen’s trial testimony with regard to her alleged purchase of the two iPods in 2007 and 2008 was not credible,” Apple said in its filing. Apple’s legal team also presented a receipt for Mariana Rosen’s iPod, showing it was purchased by her husband’s law firm, not herself.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers told the plaintiffs they have one day to file a response to Apple’s motion to dismiss. Their response will be reviewed in court on Monday to determine whether the lawsuit proceeds.

Testimonies are scheduled to resume today with Apple’s head of iTunes software, Jeff Robbin, slated to take the witness stand.

Source: Apple Motion to Dismiss